It was once written that "partying is such sweet sorrow." If you understand what that author was talking about, keep reading....there may be hope!
Personally, I give that quote a big ole thumbs down. Sorrow, Shmorrow. Parties, especially kids' parties, should be, well, FANTASTICLY fun! So, if you want to actually enjoy your next party, buckle in, I'm hitting the high points to give you some ways to destress party prep and make your next shindig one you wish would never end.
Prior Planning = FUN - Guilt - Financial Strain
I used to be a person who scoffed at spending more than $5 (okay, that's an exaggeration) on a child's party. But, the truth of the matter is, if you want host an amazing party, it will take money. I pinch pennies, but am willing to plan ahead and sock away cash for a memorable party. You'll already have lots to do to plan your party, so lugging a guilty millstone around will only wear you out. Those birthdays come the same time each year; avoid this stress by saving a small amount of money over a period of time.
Basic Colors = Festive - Extra Cost
I loooooove festive decorations! Like with a big frilly heart, L.O.V.E. them. BUT, you can go broke with all the matchy matchy party stuff out there. If you'd like to set the stage for less, you can! Streamers, helium balloons, and solid colored paper products are your friends. Identify 2-3 main colors in your theme and run with them! Doing pirates....gold, black and red rock! Doing Dora....pink, purple, and orange are perfect! Firetrucks....red, yellow, and black. Batman....black, yellow, and white. You get the picture. Most themes have mylar balloons that can make fun accents if you choose to use them. PLUS, check around your house, chances are your child has toys that would make excellent party decorations!
Good timing = Rested Kids - Extra Cost
You've been to "that" party. The one planned around the dinner hour with no morsel of food but the birthday cake. As time goes on, you consider getting the kid mob in on a plan to "rush" the mass of flour and icing and by the time it's cake eating time, you inhale your piece with one snarf. Orrrr, the party with screaming child you consider muzzling because he and most of his friends "should've" been asleep an hour prior.
You swear to never make your guests (or more importantly YOU) endure any of that nonsense, so you carefully consider the timing of your party. Good for you! You pinkie promise to always keep in mind the normal napping times of your child and guests. And, if you don't want to feed your guests a full meal, a brunch time (10-11:30ish) or midafternoon time (2:30-4ish) is your perfect choice. With that said, it's always nice to offer light (and I really mean light, easy, quick for you) snacks just in case someone gets the munchies.
Someone else corralling the kids = Freedom + Squeals & Laughter + A Chance to Practice that Saving over the Long Haul Thing :)
You've got the guests there, now what do you do? You've spent so much energy on decorations, food, the perfect party outfit, party favors, etc., you forgot to plan activities. Even worse, you DID plan activities that ended up flopping or lasting 1/3 of the time you'd planned. Consider hiring someone to entertain the kids. I know this IS an investment, but oh the bliss!
I've been a party entertainer for over 2 years now and when I started my business, Silly Shindigs, I honestly thought inviting an entertainer to a child's party was, well, excessive....to say the least. My opinion has 100% changed! One of my son's coolest parties was the one I surprised him with his favorite superhero. I did NOT stop smiling the entire time. I got to watch and enjoy his reactions. I laughed with the guests. He felt incredibly special, and the kids, without a doubt, had an absolute BLAST! Since I planned well in advance for the expense, I gleefully handed over the payment, and my only complaint afterwards was that my face hurt from smiling. That's success in my book!
I've helped over 100 families with their kids' parties and when they gush their appreciation and enthusiasm after their child's party, I "get it" and am thrilled!!! What a privilege to be part of such an amazing family memory! Most large areas have entertainment businesses. If you're in the DFW area, I've love to hear from you!
Want more tips on kids' parties? Go here for unique ideas on snacks, games, presents, party favors, themes and more!
Dena is mom to three boys who writes sporadically at Lil' Eskimo in Texas. Ya know things like dinner and laundry must come first otherwise she might have to stop partying and go back to teaching school fulltime. And, she kinda likes being a grown up who gets to dress up and celebrate birthdays!